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What is a Grace Period?

If you pay your total New Balance on your account in full each month by the due date, purchases made during the next billing cycle will not accrue interest. This period of at least 20 days is called the Grace Period. If, however, you are carrying a balance from the previous bill, new purchases are usually added to your balance and begin accruing interest immediately.

What should I pay and when should I pay it?

You can avoid paying interest charges by paying your bill in full each month. Sometimes you may want or need to make a big purchase that you can’t pay off all at once. That’s one of the main reasons people get a credit card – it lets you carry a balance. Also, develop a regular payment pattern. For every month you don’t send in at least the Minimum Payment Due, a bad mark appears on your credit report – even if you pay your balance in full the next month. Check out Payments in the How Credit Cards Work section of this site for more information. Find out where to find your key account information with our Interactive Statement.

Should I pay more than the minimum monthly payment due?

Your monthly statement shows a Minimum Payment Due. This is not a recommended payment amount, but rather the absolute minimum amount you must pay and the date by which you must pay it to keep your account current. It is a good idea to minimize interest charges by paying off your balance as soon as possible. If you can, doubling or tripling the Minimum Payment Due will help pay off your balance faster and pay less interest. Find out where to find your Minimum Payment Due with our Interactive Statement.

Is it OK to skip a payment if I can’t afford it that month?

You shouldn’t make charges to a credit card that you can’t afford to repay. However, if circumstances mean it is impossible for you to make at least the Minimum Payment Due, you should contact the issuer immediately and make arrangements for when you will be paying the bill. Late payment fees and additional interest charges may be applied during this time. Also, you shouldn’t be making any more charges on the account, until you have caught up on your payments.

Is it necessary to pay credit card bills while still in school?

Yes. Unlike most student loans, credit cards require that you pay at least the Minimum Payment Due each month. It is also not a good idea to build up a huge balance, which you expect to pay off after graduation. Reasons for this include: you may not get a job immediately; your expenses will most likely increase (i.e. rent, utilities, insurance); you will need to begin making payments on student loans; and interest on your credit cards will continue to build until the balance is paid in full.

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